All images in this post have been generated by the A.I. Stable Diffusion.

The end of living in Malta

By the end of this month, I have been living in Malta for 2.5 years. That’s quite a long time I would say. It is almost as long as I lived in Eindhoven. It is especially long when you realise that my initial plan was to live here for only 6 months. But of course, those times were a bit different. I graduated in 2020, in the middle of the COVID pandemic. So in the end it was a pretty good choice to wait out the pandemic on this lovely island. 

But the longer I am staying here, the more I’m longing back to living on the continent again. I’m missing the trees, the mountains, the cold weather, cleansing rain (a.k.a. rain that doesn’t carry Sahara sand pls), the sounds of birds, and rustling leaves.

Here in Malta, I do my morning yoga routine under the beautiful soundscape of concrete drills, beeping cars, fireworks, and yelling people.

Malta has its charmes, for sure. But like every place, it also has its curses. And personally I feel like my time on this island is slowly coming to an end. 

What are the possible destinations?

Luckily Becky feels the same (although she might be a bit more attached to the island than I am). But with her permission, I have been entertaining a few different ideas of new destinations to go to.

Many of you who I have spoken to over the last year have probably heard a few of these options passing by already. 

The first option was Estionia. We were sold on the idea for a while. We even visited it recently and fell more in love with the place. A startup/tech/innovation hub with beautiful history and nature. Checking all of our boxes. 

After that, we entertained the idea of Bulgaria, since Becky’s company has an office in Sofia as well. So that would be interesting. Also nice nature and an up-and-coming digital nomad place. 

Then we were thinking of Antwerp. Close to the Netherlands, so Becky could more easily fulfill her wish to study the Dutch language. + it’s a cool city with a vibrant art scene. 

As you can see, we’ve been hopping from idea to idea. One moment we would be completely sold on an idea, and then after a few months or weeks, we would fall in love with another idea. And that doesn’t mean that the previous cities were not suitable for our wishes anymore. It simply meant we saw another shiny stone in the treasure chest. 

That’s why this summer, we have started thinking about the idea of buying a car, putting all of our stuff in it, and just hopping from place to place. Like a true digital nomad. Checking out all the different places we are interested in and staying there for a couple of weeks/months. Living in complete freedom. 

But you’ve guessed it… after thinking about this idea long enough, it became less and less attractive. I hate the idea of owning a car. A massive object with many moving parts that can break and that I have no idea how to fix. Paying monthly fees, just to keep it running and insured and taxed. It sounds like a dread to me.

Slow traveling, freedom traveling

So now we come to the point where I present to you the current idea that we are entertaining. And when I say ‘we’, what I mean is that it is mostly me trying to warm up Becky to this idea.

The basic idea remains. We would still be traveling from place to place and staying in a place for a couple of weeks/months. But instead of doing this by car, we would do it by train! No faffing around with a silly big motor machine. Fewer liabilities. More eco-friendly (yes, this is a [WORD] argument). And the best part? We would still be able to bring our bikes! (That’s a big ‘yes’ for me).

It’s the ultimate ‘freedom’-setup. Traveling by bike and by train. Minimalist packing. Hardly any fixed costs. Not for transportation, no car, no permanent apartment. Only our mobile internet. Because we are digital nomads in the end 😉

Here is a disclaimer: this is a fresh idea. And it is expected that over time I’ll generate a more critical stance towards it. But for now, I’m hyped! So my question to you guys, do you think this is a good idea? Where do you see road bumps?